Great stories in your words… about YOUR precious pets!

Never a dull moment with pets around, eh? Whether they’re “redecorating” the couch or cuddling you on a depro day, we know you adore them and we want to share your furry-tales with other pet lovers.

This is part of a series of short pieces full of giggles, warmth and adventure with your fur balls, written BY YOU.

TIP: Safe For Work but keep the tissues handy.


Jessica van Dyk has canine companions that are more than pets – they’re her kids. Enjoy her tales of triumph and change that she and her hubby call their “daily doggy-filled lives”.


First came Cleo

Hubby and I got married back in 2007 and decided to get a dog a few months later. She was a beautiful black lab we named Cleo. What a precious girl! We realised that she was destructive (boredom, I suppose) and needed a friend.

So, for our first wedding anniversary, my husband bought an English Springer Spaniel named Axl. Now, Axl was a proper boy who did not want cuddles! Be that as it may I was going to convince him cuddles were good and he joined our little family. He was a huge blessing.

A few years down the line, we decided to start a human family but it didn’t work out. We had hoped to have a little baby girl and name her Hannah. One Friday afternoon I got home from work to find hubby standing there with the cutest yellow labby. This was going to be our little Hannah (or Nunu for short).

We now had 3 musketeers! They loved each other and landed with their bums in the butter because we even got a king-size bed for all of us to fit on.


Reluctant goodbyes

Last year tragedy struck. It was heart-breaking and stressful. Cleo was about to turn 8 in May when we found out she had stomach cancer and there was nothing we could do to save her. We had to make the dreaded decision 🙁 When I got home and broke the news to the other two while crying my heart out, Axl looked at me and gently licked my tears away as if to say, “it’s okay, Mommy”. Aah, he is such a gentle and precious soul.

Then, two months later, all of a sudden, our sweet, four-year-old Hannah was also over the rainbow bridge with her sister. She had suffered depression after Cleo’s passing and we took her to the vet on numerous occasions but he could not find anything wrong, even on the evening prior to her passing. Within twelve hours of the vet visit she joined Cleo in doggy heaven.

Now Axl, our Springer, became the “lone ranger”. He must’ve been so confused.  Where did both his sisters go? Frantically looking for a friend for him (the last thing we wanted was for him to get depressed, too), we found a Schnauzer rescue named Juliette. She was the cutest, velvety-soft ball of fun! We only had her for about 3 months when she was stolen out of our yard. We searched frantically and offered rewards to no avail. It was a rough and tough year.


Axl’s Shadow

We decided to look for another English Springer Spaniel last December and found a little boy in Nelspruit. His name is Shadow. When you see that face, who can resist? He is just too cute for words and joined our family over the holidays while we were both on leave so we could be home to house train and teach him the rules.


They are my children

Shadow turned one last month and Axl turned nine yesterday. Our boys are our blessings. Life would be so dull without them. I am not a mommy to humans but the furry, 4-legged kids are my children. I love them to the moon and back, and only want the best for them and would do anything for them. That is why they are both insured with

Here is to a long and happy life with the fur-kids!

Jessica van Dyk


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